World No. 3 Atthaya takes a step towards megastar status
Thailand's Atthaya Thitikul has moved up two spots to No. 3 in the world rankings following her win at the NW Arkansas Championship on Sunday.
In the latest list published on Monday, the 19-year-old from Ratchaburi is third behind No.1 Ko Jin-Young of South Korea and No. 2 Nelly Korda of the United States.
Australia's Minjee Lee is fourth, followed by Lydia Ko (New Zealand), Brooke Henderson (USA), Chun In-Gee (South Korea), Lexi Thompson (USA), Kim Hyo-Joo (South Korea) and Nasa Hataoka (Japan).
The other Thais in the top-100 are Patty Tavatanakit (30), Ariya Jutanugarn (57), Moriya Jutanugarn (64) and Pajaree Anannarukarn (80).
Pornanong Phatlum moved up 48 places to No. 136 after she finished fourth in Arkansas.
Atthaya further cemented her rising-star status on Sunday with a play-off victory over major champion Danielle Kang of the US to become the fourth multiple winner of the 2022 LPGA Tour season.
Stardom found Atthaya early. At the age of 14, she became the youngest player, male or female, to win a professional golf tournament.
And with her victory on Sunday at the NW Arkansas Championship, she took another step towards megastar status as she joined Lee, Henderson and American Jennifer Kupcho as the only players to win more than once this season.
Atthaya also became the first rookie since South Korea's Park Sung-Hyun in 2017 to win multiple times.
The 19-year old's maiden win came in March at the JTBC Classic.
"It means a lot to me to get my second win because you prove that you can do it," Atthaya said after her victory on Sunday.
"It means the world to me on my rookie year to win twice already. And then, yeah, it's kind of like a big [achievement]."
Atthaya will compete in the Ascendant LPGA benefiting Volunteers of America in Texas this week.